December 2009 Adds 12.51 Million New GSM Subscribers in India

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has released the GSM subscriber base for December 2009 and, quite expectantly, new additions continue at a higher rate. There has been highest growth rate registered due to some new player like Uninor and S Tel commence their GSM service in various circles, lowest SMS and Roaming tariff by some operators, and Pay Per second tariff adopted by most all GSM operators in last month. The number of new GSM subscribers being added in December month 12.51 million as compared to at a monthly growth rate of 3.41%.

Among the GSM Mobile Service Operators, Vodafone Essar added 2.7mn new users in December, taking its total base to 91.40mn while market leader and largest GSM operator Bharti Airtel record the highest new additions of 2.85mn subscribers by growth rate of 2.46, its total base raised to 118.86mn. Idea Cellular added 1.70mn new customers, boosting its subscriber base to 57.61mn, while Aircel increased its base by over 1.66mn to 31.02mn at highest growth rate.

State operator BSNL added 2.36mn new customers which are just double from last month, taking its reach to 57.22mn. Loop Mobile added 54,276 new subscribers, taking its total to 2.64mn. MTNL added 57,009 new customers, boosting its total base to 4.6mn. Latest entrant in the Indian GSM arena Uninor the mobile service brand of Unitech and Telenor added 1.2mn GSM subscriber in the first month of its operations while S Tel  managed just 1,41,411 new subscribers from 3 circles where it stats its GSM mobile service in last month.

In terms of growth rate Aircel again registered the highest growth of 5.69% with 1.66 million subscribers while Idea cellular recorded monthly additions at 3.05% with 1.70 million new subscribers which is just half from last months additions. Market leader Airtel rocks this month and added highest new subscribers at growth of 2.46% and 2.85 million new subscribers while PSU BSNL recorded 3.69% growth with good performance of 2.36 million new additions. Vodafone Essar managed a growth of 3.15% with 2.79 million new additions. If we compare the circle-wise growth than Bihra and Uttar Pradesh (west) circle managed the highest growth rate of 5.71% and 5.34%respectively while Mumbai Merto circle recorded lowest groth rate of just 1.26%.

GSM Opertaor wise % market share – Dec’2009

GSM Operator Total Subscriber base % Market Share
Bharti Airtel 118864031 31.29%
Vodafone Essar 91401959 24.06%
IDEA Cellular 57611872 15.17%
BSNL 57223482 15.06
Aircel 31023997 8.17%
Reliance Telecom*

(Smart GSM)

15156401 3.99%
MTNL 4565260 1.20%
Loop Mobile 2649730 0.70%
Uninor 1208130 0.32%
S Tel 141411 0.04%
All India Total 379846273 100%

  • *Reliance figures are of previous month(Nov’09)
  • Data Source-: COAI

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36 Comments on "December 2009 Adds 12.51 Million New GSM Subscribers in India"


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antanil das
January 26, 2010 11:19 pm 11:19 PM
Finally idea has grabbed the 3th position throwing bsnl down to 4th in gsm sector,its because mostly the quality of service by bsnl and marketing offers are not good, earlier in 2006 BSNL was 2nd as per as market revenue but day by day its detorating,thats true.who knows after 2 years aircel might overtake bsnl.and what about the tata docomos figure? I accept that most telcos are greedy for market share and provide free sims or as low as Rs15-20,moreover proper verification is also not done,just give xerox of id and address which bsnl does not do, that may be… Read more »
mayank katiyar
January 23, 2010 8:35 pm 8:35 PM

where is tata docomo?
i think
airtel+relience=tata docomo

Samir Ghosh
January 20, 2010 1:54 pm 1:54 PM
Everyone knows that some of the SIMs used in 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai, were bought in Kolkata with dubious documents. Telecom Operators who are influenced by greed for money, profits and market share are not going to put self-curb by putting strict verification systems in place. They are bothered about money and not national security. What is surprising is that goverment departements are also not pushing pressure on the telecom companies. Everyone one in the trade know that most of the ‘use and throw’ SIMs are pre-activated usings un-verified documents by the retailers. The real source for manipulation is… Read more »